Jesus Needs New PR

Jesus Needs New PR


Kirk Cameron presents 'The Evidence Bible'

Found at The American Jesus…



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Joe

posted March 17, 2011 at 9:53 am


Are you Elect? Do you know more about science than scientists? Are you eagerly awaiting being beamed up to Heaven “Star Trek” style? Then this is the Bible for YOU!!!!!



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Ray

posted March 17, 2011 at 9:55 am


Hmmm, I was considering it until the Ken Ham endorsement…well, not really.



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LRA

posted March 17, 2011 at 9:56 am


Banana Man (Ray Comfort) has produced a Bible with “evidence”– now being promoted by Crockoduck Hunter (Kirk Cameron)???

Wonders never cease!
;)



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Sheila

posted March 17, 2011 at 10:05 am


I wonder what the impact would be if they took all that time, energy and money to produce this Bible and actually put it towards helping people! This seemed to be all about the tools to help you “defend” your beliefs! How about tools to give back and help others in need, seems more productive to me and more “Christ” like.



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BMH

posted March 17, 2011 at 10:05 am


I just threw up in my mouth a little…



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Annie

posted March 17, 2011 at 10:20 am


I really like Kirk Cameron. I went to his marraige conference and it was wonderful. He is very humble and honest and firm in his faith. I don’t see anything wrong with this.



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    LRA

    posted March 17, 2011 at 10:49 am


    You don’t see anything wrong with two idiots who know nothing about science producing an anti-science Bible???

    M’kay.



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      josh

      posted March 23, 2011 at 6:22 am


      anti-science bible? you were spoon fed throughout high school.. are you really that ignorant?



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        LRA

        posted March 23, 2011 at 8:21 am


        ???

        What are you talking about?



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        Sean R Reid

        posted March 23, 2011 at 9:31 am


        Spoon fed what exactly?? Watch the video. This “translation” offers blatantly incorrect information that flies in the face of scientific fact (aka reality). Not only that but Comfort FLAUNTS this as a selling point as if it’s a good thing.

        That pretty much makes it anti-science in my book.



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Jason

posted March 17, 2011 at 10:36 am


Yeah, I don’t necessarily see anything wrong with this either, other than the fact that it allows you to appeal to an authority (the Bible) that the vast majority of the population doesn’t accept as authoritative any longer. I think it goes about “witnessing” in a manner that’s ineffective.

However, if it deepens someone’s personal faith, and makes them more conversant in what they actually believe, it’s awesome.



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    Sean R Reid

    posted March 17, 2011 at 10:59 am


    That’s just the thing, it won’t deepen anyone’s faith! At best it will give pat, short and, based on what I’ve seen of Comfort’s previous work, inaccurate/incomplete answers. This Bible will be nothing more than an extended version of a Chick tract. Any critically thinking individual who is honestly seeking answers is only going to become frustrated when the “evidence” falls apart in their first conversation.

    This is merely propagating the idea that to be a Christian who have to be willfully ignorant. It’s an affront to Christianity and the CENTURIES of Christian scholarship that has come before (and is sadly dismissed out of convenience).



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Sean R Reid

posted March 17, 2011 at 10:55 am


At what point do these guys finally get enough? They *have* to know that they’re lying, don’t they? Surely they aren’t so delusional as to believe some of the garbage that they claim to be “facts.” I’m not even talking the anti-science/anti-intellectualism stuff (although, there’s plenty of that). They make claims about Christian persecution in the U.S. that are nothing short of laughable and, honestly, downright offensive to Christians in other countries who are ACTUALLY persecuted.

With “apologists” like these, and a Bible like this, is it any wonder why people don’t take Christian thought seriously??



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    Noelle

    posted March 17, 2011 at 6:51 pm


    It isn’t a lie if you believe it.



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      Elemenope

      posted March 17, 2011 at 7:06 pm


      There is such a thing as “willful ignorance”. I’m not sure how a person engaged in strenuously denying readily apparent facts falls on the lying scale, but it would be an insult to truth to call it something other than akin to lying. The result is certainly the same, and it perpetuates itself in the same manner.

      And for what it’s worth, the stuff that Sean is talking about (stoking errant beliefs in persecution) requires something a little more than even willful ignorance. It requires, at the most charitable, an embellishment of truth so as to present the sense of it as being opposite the actual situations.

      At best, Cameron and Comfort perpetrate violations of the truth of a sort that the eminent philosopher Harry Frankfurt ably analyzed in a seminal work on the subject.



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        Noelle

        posted March 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm


        Oh, just because it’s believed doesn’t make it true.

        One can be wrong and not be a liar. But discarding compelling evidence when it doesn’t fit one’s initial schema is a special case. Willfull ignorance isn’t a bad way to put it. Stubbornly delusional?



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          Elemenope

          posted March 18, 2011 at 5:53 pm


          Oh, just because it’s believed doesn’t make it true.

          One can be wrong and not be a liar.

          I certainly agree. Like you said, this is a special case.

          Stubbornly delusional?

          Sounds about right.



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sam

posted March 17, 2011 at 11:04 am


No matter what doctrines I agree with or not: I <3 Kirk and he is doing what most Christians wouldn't, especially the ones in Hollywood! As an actor, he would never kiss another woman on screen. Amen to that!



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    Daniel

    posted March 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm


    Yeah, obeying that commandment, “Thou shalt never kiss a woman. Ever.” Right?



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    KayC

    posted March 18, 2011 at 10:36 am


    I wasn’t aware that Kirk was a woman…..



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      Abbie

      posted March 18, 2011 at 11:54 am


      Okay, that was funny.



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Annie

posted March 17, 2011 at 11:09 am


I don’t see it as anti-science. I see it as their hard work in their faith system. It might not be yours but it is theirs and millions of others agree. Have you read this particular Bible? If not how can you say that it is an anti-science Bible? Just like the debate about people attacking Rob Bell without reading his book, if you haven’t read it fully then you do not know. What has happened to the tolerance that you and others here so proudly hold up? You are only tolerant if people agree with you. I didn’t attack anyone. I only stated my opinion. And yes I have read this Bible.



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    LRA

    posted March 17, 2011 at 11:22 am


    He JUST said in the video above that “evolution is not scientific”. Straight outta his mouth!

    Not to mention that Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron have repeatedly made anti-science statements throughout the course of their “ministry”.

    And you know what, it doesn’t matter what millions of people believe. That isn’t how science works.

    Honestly. I think all people who denounce science should have it removed from their lives. Let’s see how many people remain faithful when vaccines, computers, cars, light bulbs, refrigeration, anti-biotics, and basic building/engineering codes are no longer a part of their lives.

    Seriously. Anti-science anti-intellectualism is the ultimate hypocrisy.



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      Maniac Mike

      posted March 17, 2011 at 8:56 pm


      Evolution is NOT Scientific. Science proves evolution does not happen.



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        Elemenope

        posted March 17, 2011 at 8:58 pm


        What’s your basis for such a bold assertion?



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        LRA

        posted March 17, 2011 at 9:39 pm


        Citations?

        What science proves evolution doesn’t happen?



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        Elle

        posted March 17, 2011 at 11:42 pm


        Yes, technically macro-evolution can’t be proven – but neither can creationism. All we have are theories on either end of the spectrum.



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          Sean R Reid

          posted March 18, 2011 at 3:57 am


          Actually, there’s ample proof for macro-evolution as well. For instance, Tiktaalik:
          http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/meetTik.html



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          LRA

          posted March 18, 2011 at 7:23 am


          Well, technically *nothing* in science can be proven. Proofs are for math, evidence is science’s game. And there is ample, ample evidence for *evolution* (there is not really such a thing as “macroevolution”… this is a buzzword that creationists use because descent with modification (or “microevolution”) is so obvious they can’t fight it. They are actually fighting against “speciation”… but speciation is *also* well observed!)

          Ring species, partially speciated organisms (like lions and tigers, or horses and donkeys, and even great danes and chihuahuas), and speciation in geographically separated species are all examples of observable phenomenon in living organisms.

          The fossil record of cetacean evolution (especially compelling is the leg and middle ear morphologies) is a fantastic example of evidence in non-living organisms.

          Then there’s genetics. Transposons, endogenous retroviruses, pseudogenes, and gene duplication are all extremely compelling and observable evidence for evolution.

          So, the problem here isn’t evolution or even speciation, it’s the fact that evolutionary biology is a vast and complicated field that deserves a fair survey before people even attempt to talk about it. It’s the fact that science isn’t armchair philosophy. It’s the fact that people seem to think that they are entitled to be respected for their *demonstrably wrong* opinions and they get all huffy when called out on their BS.



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    cindyc

    posted March 17, 2011 at 1:50 pm


    @Annie: LIKE!



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    Elemenope

    posted March 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm


    If not how can you say that it is an anti-science Bible?

    Is there such a thing as a pro-science Bible, with passages about demon-possession causing illness “reinterpreted” to take into account the germ theory of disease, or passages about how phenotypes of different animal coats are influenced not by striped rods being shown to them but instead by genetics, where the sun is correctly identified as a star, where God shows some preternatural understanding of atomic theory or evolution or impending technologies (and what we should and shouldn’t do with them)?

    At best, the Bible can be parenthetically edited *to make room* for science (with many asterisks for “God’s just kidding, honest”) but there is no such thing as a ‘pro-science Bible’.



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      Scott Bailey

      posted March 17, 2011 at 5:37 pm


      “(with many asterisks for “God’s just kidding, honest”)”

      Classic, I may have to plagiarize that. Good stuff!



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Jen

posted March 17, 2011 at 11:18 am


Their endorsement list reads like a who’s who of names I look for when deciding against buying a particular book.



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Annie

posted March 17, 2011 at 11:28 am


Science is not man-made, it is God made. Denying evolution is not denying science. It is denying a theory that has never be proven. You cannot validate it by the same way that science validates other theorems today. It is just accepted blindly. Evolution does not equal science so because they refute one thing does not make it antiscience. I have never met a Christian who denies science. Youre far reaching in your comment.



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    LRA

    posted March 17, 2011 at 11:38 am


    Excuse me… but where did you get your degree in science from?

    Because I got my master’s degree in molecular bio and neurobiology from Columbia University.

    I cannot believe that you think that science is not man-made. That is the craziest thing I have ever heard! Where in the Bible is the information on vaccines, computers, cars, light bulbs, refrigeration, anti-biotics, and basic building/engineering codes???

    Hell, where does the Bible even talk about the germ theory of disease and the use of soap???

    NO WHERE IN THE BIBLE IS THERE *ANY* SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION. NO WHERE.

    And YES denying evolution (which is well observed with multiple, multiple lines of evidence) IS denying science.

    The content of your statement here is absolutely mind boggling to me!



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      Jason Sagel

      posted March 18, 2011 at 1:30 pm


      @ LRA

      I took numerous anthropology and m & m classes any my textbooks definitely had the differentiation between micro & macro evolution.

      Also, your first statement is Francis Bacon’s idol of the theatre.



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        Elemenope

        posted March 18, 2011 at 1:50 pm


        Also, your first statement is Francis Bacon’s idol of the theatre.

        It would only be thus if earning the credentials she was asserting do not match Bacon’s own method for surmounting the influence of the four idols. Unfortunately for your point, obtaining any degree in micro bio and/or neuro bio from any accredited science program (much less Columbia’s) is necessarily going to include copious amounts of physically establishing truth through rigorous experimentation, and the information thus learned is rightfully called “knowledge”.



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          Sean R Reid

          posted March 18, 2011 at 1:55 pm


          Elemenope, can I also add you to my list of theological BFFs? I think you, LRA and the “No Inerrancy” group on Facebook have done more for my education that those 6 years I survived of Catholic school!



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          Elemenope

          posted March 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm


          :-)

          LRA and VorJack led me here from a site I help moderate on the other side of the fence. We’re always looking for thoughtful theist opinions (as they tend to be scarce to have on an atheist-oriented forum). Just follow the URL in my name, I’d love to see your input.



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          Jason Sagel

          posted March 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm


          @ Elemonope

          Hey I appreciate your feedback.

          I still disagree. The classes she took and the degree she attained does not necessarily mean that she’s right. Physicists disagree with physicists. Theologians disagree with theologians. Geneticists disagree with geneticists. My point was simply this, macro-evolution is not supported unanimously by scientists. I know you are going to disagree with me and you might even ridicule me; however I see ‘macro-evolution’ as more of a philosophy of science than a theory. Would it be possible with all the paradigm shifts in the scientific field for them to be wrong, especially with the Darwinian idea of evolution being only 150 years old?

          Because her professors told her that macro-evolution were true, and does the best to explain the naturalistic assumptions they hold, does not make it so. As much as it is claimed, however macro-evolution has not been empirically verified. In fact, it has been taken with such a self-evident axiom by many of it’s proponents that anyone that questions it is immediately looked at with disdain. (Michael Behe, Andrew Denton, Phillip Johnson to name a few) Do you agree with anything that I said?



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          Elemenope

          posted March 18, 2011 at 3:30 pm


          The classes she took and the degree she attained does not necessarily mean that she’s right.

          I agree with you there. It is insufficient to simply assert and then resort to an argument from authority, regardless of what that authority is. Additional appeals to evidence are necessary (how much and what sort depend on the nature of the claim, the nature of the claimed authority, and the object of the discussion).

          Physicists disagree with physicists. Theologians disagree with theologians. Geneticists disagree with geneticists.

          This is so, but is insufficient to support what you seem to be proposing (the functional nullity of expertise in discussions of this sort). I think you’ll find in most fields (and all scientific fields) that the distribution of disagreement amongst the population of experts indicates something about the solidity of claims being disputed. A claim that is well-attested by evidence and accepted by the vast majority of experts in a field is much less likely to be a case of false knowledge (and thus the dissenters are somewhere out in the long tail of the distributional curve) than one in which the claim is highly disputed across the population of experts.

          To put a different way, it is not a difficult task to find some physicist, or theologian, or geneticist *somewhere* who is willing to dissent from the consensus of the discipline, even on thin or absent evidentiary grounds, but that shows very little. More indicative would be a large number of experts in a discipline endorsing a dissent from the consensus due to available evidence.

          My point was simply this, macro-evolution is not supported unanimously by scientists.

          I doubt it would be possible to find *any* scientific theory that holds unanimous acclaim among scientists. Moving away from unanimity, though, one finds a marked difference between strong consensus theories and more contested theories. Evolution is definitely in the former category amongst the relevant experts (biologists of one flavor or another).

          I see ‘macro-evolution’ as more of a philosophy of science than a theory. Would it be possible with all the paradigm shifts in the scientific field for them to be wrong, especially with the Darwinian idea of evolution being only 150 years old?

          It is a strikingly productive paradigm, and one that has predicted many phenomena accurately (such as the human Chromosome 2 fusion site, among others). It is, of course, possible that the paradigm is flawed such that another paradigm could replace it, but such a paradigm would still have to explain (*at least* as well) the data now well-explained by the evolutionary paradigm. In any case, the Lakatoshian research programme encompassing evolutionary biology is remarkably stable, in that it shows no signs of mounting anomalies or runaway ad hoc helper hypotheses.

          As much as it is claimed, however macro-evolution has not been empirically verified.

          Speciation has been observed empirically. Follow the link in my name for details.



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    Sean R Reid

    posted March 17, 2011 at 11:49 am


    Here’s what scientific “theory” is:

    “…a scheme or system of ideas or statements held as an explanation or account of a group of facts or phenomena; a hypothesis that has been confirmed or established by observation or experiment, and is propounded or accepted as accounting for the known facts; a statement of what are held to be the general laws principles or causes of something known or observed.”

    Be sure to note the last line, “held to be the general laws principles or causes of something known.” It’s not a “gee, I think it’s like this” kind of guess. We’re not talking about a game show here. It’s a fact. It’s real. There’s no more blind acceptance of it than there is that you blindly “accept” gravity. Just because you don’t think it’s valid doesn’t mean you’ll be floating off the earth!!

    I covered this a bit in depth here, if you’re interested – http://www.badchristian.org/2011/02/15/once-and-for-all/



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    Kelly

    posted March 17, 2011 at 1:48 pm


    Why is to so bad for Annie to have an opinion? We are all entitled to it no matter what. She can think what she wants.. no need to treat her or anyone else like an idiot. No need to only be tolerant of those who think like you. Annie.. hold your ground! I do not care if I agree with you or not.. it is obvious you love God, and good for you for holding your ground!



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      Sean R Reid

      posted March 17, 2011 at 2:01 pm


      No one said it was bad for her to have an opinion. However, saying that evolution isn’t proven is just patently and demonstrably false. She could hold the opinion that my mother is a pink unicorn, it doesn’t make it right and/or valid. Furthermore, it wouldn’t be intolerant of me to inform her that my mother is NOT a pink unicorn.

      She doesn’t have any ground to hold. The information she has is either faulty or incomplete (which, given the state of science education in the US is not surprising). Filling in those gaps or making corrections is hardly intolerance. It’s education.



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        Kelly

        posted March 17, 2011 at 2:19 pm


        My comment was more for LRA than for you.. sorry I did not read your post. I am highly educated in science, The Bible and much more (including degrees). No matter what I am educated in.. the Bible is my number one standard. That is what I go by. That is my faith. No science, no man, nothing proven will change that. That is what faith is all about to me. There are many things out there” proven” that I will never believe in. Again, my comment was not towards you. Mostly because (forgive me as I am working) I did not read yours.



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          LRA

          posted March 17, 2011 at 3:06 pm


          Yes, Kelly it is bad. When people vote anti-science politicians into office, science funding suffers.
          When parents scare their children into avoiding science, we end up with less future doctors and scientists.

          George Bush’s moritorium of stem cell funding set the field back a DECADE. Do you know how many people will have died over the next decade that could have been treated as a result of that research? MILLIONS.

          So YES it is BAD.



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          Nathan

          posted March 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm


          bitter aren’t we.



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          Elemenope

          posted March 17, 2011 at 3:44 pm


          Not all bitterness is ill-conceived or unearned. I’d be bitter if someone, without knowledge, shut down or hamstrung a scientific discipline that I contribute to and was endeavoring to improve. Sadly, much anti-science sentiment can be traced back to a single source.

          Are you saying it’s not appropriate to be angry and resentful when someone else makes a decision that needlessly costs lives, knowledge, and much else in service to an ideology whose tree has not produced equal fruits (I’m speaking here of creationism in particular and American strands of evangelicalism in general)?



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          Elemenope

          posted March 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm


          I am highly educated in science, The Bible and much more (including degrees). No matter what I am educated in.. the Bible is my number one standard. That is what I go by.

          I hesitate to ask, but what science are you highly educated in, such that you feel comfortable nonetheless taking the findings in the Bible over that knowledge? I mean, here I sit, and I can’t think of a scientific field in which the Bible holds superior truth to modern empirical studies. About supernatural stuff? Sure, everyone can have an opinion. But the Bible is not a science textbook, which is what treating it the way you are suggesting (“No matter what I am educated in.. the Bible is my number one standard”) requires it to be treated.



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Sbuxjosh

posted March 17, 2011 at 12:52 pm


Annie,

Please describe name two of the mechanics of evolution and name very shortly three evidences for evolution. The evidence is there. If you can’t speak to it, then you shouldn’t speak against it.



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LRA

posted March 17, 2011 at 1:16 pm


This is what upsets me about people like Ray Comfort and his ilk:

Science is the best tool we have to relieve suffering. Modern medicine is based (obviously) on biology and biology’s fundamental underpinning is evolution. If you deny evolution, you deny biology. If you deny biology, you deny medicine. If you deny medicine then you deny the best tool we have to alleviate people’s suffering and dying!!!

It is cruel!

How many children have been abused and suffered because of “faith healing”? How many people believe in “alternative” medicine that has no reliable mechanism of efficacy?

Worse. How many fundy politicians are attacking science at the public school level? How many parents eschew science in favor of their superstition? How many future doctors and scientists are lost to this ignorance? How much research for cures of painful, debilitating disorders is de-funded because of people’s ignorance and superstition?

How many millions of people have suffered and died in the last 10 years alone simply because of the political debate over stem-cell technology?

So, that is what it’s about for me. People who claim to be pro-life are actually pro-death and pro-suffering by the consequences of their actions which are based on ignorant superstition.

If you are a fundamentalist, I ask: How many people are you willing to let suffer for your “ideal”? How many people are you willing to let die so that you can be “right”?



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    Dianna

    posted March 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm


    I’ve never thought of it put that way, specifically that science is a tool toward relieving suffering. That’s a great new way to put it.

    On one level, science is about finding out how the universe works at a most basic level. It is about answering the “how,” not the “why.” We can look at (say, in medicine) a molecular level and see evolution at work – strains of bacteria adapt to different medicines that we throw at it and develop antibiotic resistant mechanisms. Science looks at that and asks “How can we solve that problem so people don’t die from catching the flu?” It doesn’t delve into “why” this particular strain of bacteria develops in a certain manner, except as a means of eventually answering the how. It doesn’t ask “Why does this bacteria exist?” on a general level, but instead asks “How did it come to be and how can we resolve the issues it creates?”

    I hope that makes sense.

    Conversely, the Bible is all about the “why.” There is no real how in the Bible except to cover “how” we live out the “why.” If that makes sense at all (I’m having trouble articulating myself today). For example: We know, from the Bible, that we have purpose in life because God created us to love him (I know, LRA, that you don’t believe in the Bible, but I’m saying this to a general audience now). We know that because that “why” is answered in the Bible that we have some direction as to how to live our lives.

    What fundamentalists and anti-evolutionists get wrong is the mixing up of these two questions: They expect science to give us an answer to the why, and, more importantly, expect the Bible to give an answer to the how. When really, they are two different fields.

    It is perfectly legitimate for me to believe in science because it gives me many answers about how the world functions and how to better solve those physical issues (like diseases, suffering, etc). It is equally legitimate for me to believe that the Bible gives me a why as to why it is important to alleviate suffering, why it is important to undertake every thing I do with love. The two are not mutually exclusive.

    Anyone who holds a view that they ARE mutually exclusive is not giving full credence to either tradition, and has a very narrow view of the world and the people in it.



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      Sean R Reid

      posted March 17, 2011 at 3:01 pm


      It is perfectly legitimate for me to believe in science because it gives me many answers about how the world functions and how to better solve those physical issues (like diseases, suffering, etc). It is equally legitimate for me to believe that the Bible gives me a why as to why it is important to alleviate suffering, why it is important to undertake every thing I do with love. The two are not mutually exclusive.

      Anyone who holds a view that they ARE mutually exclusive is not giving full credence to either tradition, and has a very narrow view of the world and the people in it.

      +1 to this…very well put. I think in most cases, atheists and Christian, it’s confusing the role of each that causes most of the dissension. If Christians would stop trying to make the Bible into a science/history/self-help text book the message would come across more clearly.



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        LRA

        posted March 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm


        Exactly! Well said Dianna!



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      LRA

      posted March 17, 2011 at 3:03 pm


      I went into neuroscience because I was a special education teacher to severely cognitively impaired children. Two of my students were terminally ill and died within a few years of me going into science.

      Gene therapies could have helped them had they lived to see that kind of technology applied in a medical setting.

      One of those kids had a severe seizure disorder and the other had a severe neuromuscular disorder. Tell the parents of those kids why the religious right feels a need to interfere in science funding. Tell the parents of those kids that these people are supposedly “pro-life”. I think you’ll find that those parents just wanted to ease their children’s suffering– and biotechnology is the absolute best tool for that. Now, if we can just get fundies to leave us alone and let us work!



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        Dianna

        posted March 17, 2011 at 4:52 pm


        I know what you mean. I have a brother who has Down Syndrome, and so working in Special Olympics, I’ve encountered a lot of different disorders and disabilities. I know that a lot of them have had the chance to live long and fulfilling lives because of medical advances like gene therapy. Advances in medicine have massively helped my own brother with heart conditions that he has a tendency to develop because of his Down’s. I definitely have an appreciation for the work scientists do.



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cindyc

posted March 17, 2011 at 2:08 pm


Medicine is not a religious debate. Many wonderful health care providers are also strong Christians–one is not exclusive of the other. Luke himself was a physician.
Even with funding and support, stem cell research is very, very far away from any kind of clinical trials or ability to eliminate suffering or death, and has sparked many an ethical debate not just surrounding religion.
http://www.bioethics.upenn.edu/multimedia.shtml



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    LRA

    posted March 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm


    Wrong again, cindy! You were wrong about prayer and healing and now you are wrong about stem cells. You are not a scientist and you don’t know what you are talking about.

    The stem cell issue is one that is SO worthy of funding that both Harvard and Stanford set up PRIVATE endowments to get it done and President Obama removed the moritorium.

    Embryonic stem cells remain the gold standard for the research because of their pluripotency. There is *NO* ethical concern for use of embryonic stem cells out side of politically manufactured ones because the embryos used in the research were destined for the trash anyway.

    That’s right folks. Embryos that don’t get used in the research get thrown in the trash when fertility clinics are done with them.

    So, what exactly is the issue here? It certainly isn’t a “pro-life” one.



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      LRA

      posted March 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm


      Here is Harvard’s Stem Cell Institute site:

      http://www.hsci.harvard.edu/

      Here is Stanford’s site:

      http://stemcell.stanford.edu/

      Both have amazing stories about the work they are doing to help people.



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        LRA

        posted March 17, 2011 at 4:55 pm


        Here is a short video from Stanford’s site on why embryonic stem cells are preferable:

        http://www.cirm.ca.gov/Videos_Basics_IrvWeissman



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        cindyc

        posted March 19, 2011 at 7:05 am


        And the bioethics link I provided from UPENN is an unbiased representation of stem cell research and the ethical and scientific drawbacks of that–including some of the unethical means by which informed consent is being obtained along with how it is difficult to transfer the research currently being done to humans. The research is done on mice or rats or in a petrie dish, a very long way from any kind of clinical trials on humans. This leads to a lot of debate surrounding the proverbial slippery slope of cloning as well, because embryonic stem cells are pluripotent. The link I posted is a nice presentation of it all.
        While embryonic stem cells get most of the press, there is a lot of promising research surrounding adult stem cells as well, as discussed on the Stanford site with the link you provided, such as induced pluripotent stem cells in Parkinson’s research–which would not be possible using embryonic stem cells.
        There is a lot of ethical controversy and unethical practice–an example of this off of the top of my head is HeLa cells…
        The uneducated public is manipulated into thinking that embryonic stem cell research is our “only hope”, when in reality we are quite far from that point–and that there is much more to stem cell research than just embryonic. Adult stem cell research has much to offer the medical community as well. Anyone who denies that is not being truly honest.



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          LRA

          posted March 20, 2011 at 6:17 pm


          Yes, because clearly Harvard and Stanford just can’t wait to engage in unethical research….

          And adult stem cells only go so far. As I’ve already stated, ESCs are the gold standard.



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          cindyc

          posted March 20, 2011 at 7:07 pm


          Again, adult stem cells have much to offer. Again, years away from clinical trials on humans for several reasons. Again, real-life ethical issues and real-life problems by people who actually use their science knowledge to work in the real-life science world, as opposed to wanna-be scientists who scour the internet as a hobby because they don’t have a job as a scientist. The lecture in the link I posted on bioethics by Dr. David Magnus, who is an expert in his field, has excellent information surrounding both embryonic and adult stem cell research. All the sarcastic comments and obnoxious rudeness in the world cannot disprove that.



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          LRA

          posted March 20, 2011 at 7:29 pm


          Cindy– LOL! That’s funny.

          “Again, adult stem cells have much to offer. Again, years away from clinical trials on humans for several reasons.”

          Yes,and those reasons are that idiots like George Bush put the kaibosh on stem cell funding… or haven’t you been paying attention?

          “Again, real-life ethical issues and real-life problems by people who actually use their science knowledge to work in the real-life science world, as opposed to wanna-be scientists who scour the internet as a hobby because they don’t have a job as a scientist.”

          There are *no* ethical issues to using stem cells outside of the politically manufactured ones. That’s why Harvard and Stanford are doing the research.

          As far as *my* work is concerned, I completed my thesis in the lab of Eric Kandel at Columbia (Nobel Laureate, 2000) and have published work in science. Furthermore, I’m in the process of seeking a PhD in science and society studies, so you’re little insult hardly holds any weight.

          “The lecture in the link I posted on bioethics by Dr. David Magnus, who is an expert in his field, has excellent information surrounding both embryonic and adult stem cell research.”

          Yes, one bioethicist has concerns. So what?

          “All the sarcastic comments and obnoxious rudeness in the world cannot disprove that.”

          What has that got to do with the main point? Nothing. Furthermore, this is just your opinion and one that is neither shared by myself, the owner of this blog, nor many of its readers.



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          LRA

          posted March 20, 2011 at 7:52 pm


          Oh, and btw, Dr. Magnus is a philosopher of science (and not a research scientist) who actually works at STANFORD. His work concerns itself quite a bit with the ethics of reproductive technologies. No where in my cursory research into his work have I found any sort of statements like, “Embryonic stem cell use is unethical.”

          http://med.stanford.edu/profiles/bioethics/faculty/David_Magnus/

          You might want to research more carefully before you use someone who doesn’t actually support your point of view, Cindy.



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          LRA

          posted March 21, 2011 at 8:56 am


          And here is an interview that Dr. Magnus gave about stem cells.

          He talks about a number of the things I have brought up. Further, he points out that the use of adult stem cells (induced pluripotent stem cells) were developed as a result of using embryonic stem cell research. IPSCs are good because the immunological rejection issues aren’t there. He also points out that the first clinical trials using embryonic stem cells are currently underway.

          Part 1:

          http://www.youtube.com/user/deeperlook#p/u/26/7p1Rtt-wpXM

          Part 2:

          http://www.youtube.com/user/deeperlook#p/u/27/sjFnhV6JbQQ

          (Parts 3&4 are interesting, but mostly deal with other biomedical ethics issues like organ transplants and end of life issues.

          And for the record, I happened to stumble across this video while doing research for a presentation I’m going to be giving at a Human Enhancement and Bioethics Conference at a university here in the Dallas area. So, you see, I scour the internet because it is part of my career path to do so. I actually get to join my hobbies and my work together. I think about science, science policy, and bioethics every day as part of my career. I share that information here because I’m passionate about it and I think it is worthy of sharing.)



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          cindyc

          posted March 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm


          Supporting “my” point of view is certainly not the point–the point is that there are more than one point of view out there to be both studied and respected–that’s how the real world, not the world of “what I want to be when I grow up” (the one you seem to be in) works. Dr. Magnus speaks about the pertinent issues of obtaining informed consent that inappropriately leads the research subjects to believe they are being given medical treatment, not simply being used for research, among other things. We are years and years away from actual treatment related to this kind of science. Not only that, but there are so many ethical concerns surrounding research of all kinds–that is why so much research is controversial. Anyone can read about it on the internet, (you are the perfect example), and anyone can use the internet to find data supporting what “they” want to believe, but application to real life scenarios is key. Any ethicist or scientist who claims otherwise is a liar. I can also say with a great deal of confidence that any person who constantly tries to convince others of their greatness, and seeks only information that supports their point of view rather than listening and learning in order to synthesize knowledge will make for quite a biased researcher and poor scientist. That’s how in works in real life application! If you don’t learn to do that you’re going to fall flat on your face someday if you ever have a real career in science.



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          LRA

          posted March 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm


          Cindy. Quit. You are making yourself look silly. I already told you that I’ve got PUBLISHED work in science and that I worked for a Nobel Prize Winner. As I said the video is something I stumbled across. I typically use pubmed for research.

          Your insults are only making you look bad. At this point, I’ve already shown that your assertions are not backed up by what you use to support them. Further, I am fully aware that there are many viewpoints. But as I’ve already pointed out, the viewpoints that matter are the ones that are actually informed.

          If I told a pilot that it was my view point that he ought to press the green button rather than the red button during take-off and he told me that that was the wrong thing to do, I think I’d listen to him seeing as how he is the pilot and knows how airplanes work.

          This has been my point all along, but you seem to want to prove that I’m still wrong somehow. The person who is qualified to speak the most here is wrong? How does that work. It doesn’t.

          You can keep digging your heals in and that won’t change. Deal with it.



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          LRA

          posted March 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm


          heals = heels. Dang it.



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    Elemenope

    posted March 17, 2011 at 4:39 pm


    Medicine is not a religious debate.

    Itself? No, of course not. But where it intersects (however tangentially) with religious diktat it definitely can find itself embroiled in religious debate.

    Luke himself was a physician.

    Indeed. Of course, at the time the cutting edge medical theory of disease was that illness was due to an imbalance of bodily humours (this, BTW, replaced the slightly older theory that illness was caused by malevolent spirits; a theory notably endorsed explicitly by Jesus himself and one imagines, transitivity, by Luke).

    Even with funding and support, stem cell research is very, very far away from any kind of clinical trials or ability to eliminate suffering or death…

    And there forever it shall remain if it continues to be stymied. Doesn’t it strike you as a little odd to blame the science that is being actively prevented from progressing for not showing progress?

    …and has sparked many an ethical debate not just surrounding religion.

    Very true. Of course, very few of these secular sources of argument aim to have the technology stopped in its tracks, but rather counsel caution and emplacement of safeguards to protect against some of the foreseeable problems. The religious argument (and really, it denigrates religion to have it called thus) is just a ride-along on a theory of personhood–untenable even in the confines of religious historical practice–created for the explicit political purpose of drawing a bright line in the abortion wars.



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Kelly

posted March 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm


If God denies evolution than I deny it. Plain and simple. If he chose to make the world this way.. so be it. I don’t care really. I do not deny biology, but I do deny medicine in many instances. MEDICAL doctors killed my grandmother and uncle from modern day medicine. They even admitted it and it can be proven. I was pronounced dead as well from modern day medicine. Nothing is perfect, not even your amazing science. The only hope that has ever been there for me ALWAYS has been Jesus, and I choose to stick with Him. Also, do more research on stem cell therapy. I did a dissertation on it. Funny how in other countries it is not embryonic that is used most often when healing people with it!



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    LRA

    posted March 17, 2011 at 2:54 pm


    “If God denies evolution than I deny it.”

    Really? Cuz you talk to God directly or something?

    Very ignorant. But that is your choice. Now keep your ignorant choices away from my science and we’ll be ok.

    Unfortunately for me, people like you vote in elections and you put people like Bush in power (who then put a moritorium on stem cell and other sorts of science funding).

    Of course, you vote against your own interests when you vote for these sorts of idiots, but what can be done about that?

    Finally, no science is not perfect, but its record is a hell of a lot better than “faith healing” or some such nonsense.



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      Kelly

      posted March 17, 2011 at 10:28 pm


      Funny how you make assumptions. I refuse to argue, but I will say.. I did not vote for Bush. I actually have only voted once period. For many reasons that I rather not say on here. Don’t assume how I vote, or even if I vote. And yes, you may not believe in God.. that is your choice and your human right. I won’t condemn you for it, now please do not condemn me for my beliefs in God too.. and I can put God in Science all I want for the same reasons. You do not run me or my beliefs. I have been healed by prayers before and had my heart stopped for 2 min because of science. science killed me.. God brought me back when no doctor could not. when science gave up on me and sent me home to die. so yes, i will choose to believe in God, and yes he has talked to me. you.. can believe what you want!



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        LRA

        posted March 18, 2011 at 7:43 am


        No, science did not kill you. That is ridiculous. Your *condition* aka failing body “killed” you. Science saved your live. Either that or your body’s natural defenses kicked in. I’m pretty sure if we delved into your story the facts would suss that out. So, no, a faith healer did not cure you. Faith healers are inert and there is not a scrap of evidence for the potency of faith healing. And, btw, have you ever wondered why you were sick in the first place? If “God” was going to “heal” you, then why didn’t he just make you not sick to begin with? Why let you suffer? Seems, at best, an inconsistency on “God’s” part.

        You are right, you can believe whatever you want. I don’t have a problem with your beliefs. I have a problem with you spreading misinformation in a public forum like this one, so I will continue to rebuff your *demonstrably wrong* assertions.

        Science has no room for supernatural phenomenon in it. That is because science only deals with testable (falsifiable) hypotheses, and supernatural phenomenon are not testable, therefore have no place in science. So, no, you can’t put “God” in science.

        If you don’t like it, too bad. These aren’t my rules, they are the rules that have developed over the last few hundred years as scientific methodologies have been analyzed by practicing scientists and philosophers of science. So, your ill-informed opinions here don’t matter. They don’t affect the actual practice of science except by the votes you cast for meddling politicians.

        And, if you read what I said, I clearly expressed my concern with the votes of people *like* you, not you directly. Many religious people vote for pandering politicians who make displays of their “piety” by doing things like feigning concern for the itty-bitty embryos whose destruction they must prevent with great huffs and puffs… only to fail to tell you, the voter, that the destination of that embryo is actually the trash. In doing to, these meddling politicians create huge problems for scientists who are actually doing hard work to save lives and alleviate suffering. It’s BS, and I call shenanigans on it. That was my point.



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    LRA

    posted March 17, 2011 at 2:56 pm


    btw… my first research job used stem cells for research on brain damage, so yeah, I’m sure your little “dissertation” is, well, let’s just say whatever.

    I know more about stem cells than you can possibly imagine. I also know people who could have benefited from the research, but died instead.



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    Dianna

    posted March 17, 2011 at 4:45 pm


    I’m having a LOT of trouble parsing your last sentence. …What?



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      Nathan

      posted March 17, 2011 at 4:51 pm


      she said she is smarter, more arrogant, and pompous than you so just be quiet.



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        Elemenope

        posted March 17, 2011 at 4:58 pm


        What do you suppose that comment adds to the discussion?

        LRA is forceful, sure, in arguing her point of view. She is also quite knowledgeable in this area, and a certain level of assertiveness is especially called for when talking about something one knows well. I know it is quite difficult to argue against someone when outclassed on technical knowledge of the matter at hand, but it really doesn’t call for passive-aggressive sniping, does it?



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        LRA

        posted March 17, 2011 at 4:58 pm


        Nathan– you are a non-contributor to this discussion, you realize…



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          Nathan

          posted March 17, 2011 at 6:15 pm


          I truly do not care if I am contributing or not. Your arrogance does not contribute to a conversation. It backs people into a corner and tries to make them submit to your point of view. When one has the idea that because they are educated with a masters degree, they have the ability to not only try to negate the opinions of other people, but to reply in a condescending manner, it does not contribute to “conversation” either. You have a rather warped idea of what having a discussion is when everything you say just tries to prove how stupid the other person is.

          Example given:”I know more about stem cells than you can possibly imagine.” However true this statement may be, it is not communicated in helping people understand where you are coming from, it is meant to belittle and degrade the person you are talking to. A sort of “I am smarter than you and I know what I am talking about so keep it shut” approach. Truly what a wonderful discussion.



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          Elemenope

          posted March 17, 2011 at 6:27 pm


          I truly do not care if I am contributing or not.

          Er, so then, from what moral standing do you argue that you should have some say in how the conversation is going?

          Your arrogance does not contribute to a conversation. It backs people into a corner and tries to make them submit to your point of view.

          Do you expect her to persuade through reverse psychology, or something? This often happens with experts; they engage on something dear to their heart (and well attested to by their hard-earned knowledge) and then a layman comes along and demands equal voice. That’s not how the cookie crumbles; expertise counts for something.

          When one has the idea that because they are educated with a masters degree, they have the ability to not only try to negate the opinions of other people, but to reply in a condescending manner, it does not contribute to “conversation” either. You have a rather warped idea of what having a discussion is when everything you say just tries to prove how stupid the other person is.

          I haven’t seen LRA argue that another person is “stupid” or an “idiot”. I *have* seen her argue that certain other people, who have given their opinion, are wrong in their opinion; that the opinion is not well-attested by evidence and has baleful practical consequences when it is acted upon.

          Is every person who picks up a Bible casually entitled to have their opinions on Biblical exegesis, history and hermeneutics taken as seriously as a Doctor of Theology? Would you treat such opinions as deserving deference, or would you call them out as uninformed and mistaken? Would you be wrong in doing so, or justified by a greater expertise than your interlocutor?

          There is no gentle way of saying, in a conversation like this, “I know more than you”. Because there does not exist an elegant way to assert one’s credentials as an expert (especially in a forum like this), does it follow that expertise is a functional nullity?

          And despite your overflowing concern, other people have engaged with LRA and are having the conversation you are arguing is impossible to have under these conditions. If you have no interest in contributing, why do you care if one commenter or other is more forceful or arrogant than *you* would like?



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          LRA

          posted March 17, 2011 at 6:40 pm


          Thank you ‘Nope!

          Nathan, you are welcome to your own opinions. Neither you nor anyone else are welcome to your own facts.

          My work has dealt in life and death matters and I’m passionate about it… I get upset, and rightly so, when people who think they know about science meddle with it and cost people their lives.

          If that makes me arrogant, so be it!

          What the hell are *you* doing to help anyone, here or elsewhere? From your comments so far, the answer is “nothing”.



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          Nathan

          posted March 17, 2011 at 7:45 pm


          thank you for judging me and proving my point.



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          Elemenope

          posted March 17, 2011 at 8:01 pm


          Ooh, a Matthew 7:1! Darn, and I had good money on you pulling out a Proverbs 26:12.

          Look, when you say things like “bitter, aren’t we?” and, sarcastically “she said she is smarter, more arrogant, and pompous than you so just be quiet.”, you are engaging in nasty naughty judgment your own self.

          There’s a thingee about motes and logs that would probably be appropriate in here somewhere.

          Why do you continue to seek to inject yourself into a conversation you yourself have said you have no interest in contributing to?



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          LRA

          posted March 17, 2011 at 8:23 pm


          persecution complex?

          martyr envy?

          sore loser?



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          cindyc

          posted March 19, 2011 at 7:17 am


          LRA,
          You know, I don’t think it’s really what you say but how you say it. You come across as a mean and pompous bully who rejoices in nothing more than verbally assaulting people. I am sure you know this–maybe you don’t? I’m not sure why that is, but it really makes me sad to think that the only way you can have a conversation with someone who does not have the same opinions as you is to insult them. That’s unfortunate–I truly do hope that you get over that in your life, because I believe that you will enjoy your life more if you don’t constantly feel you have to prove something to others. You have proven to everyone here that you are smart–we all believe you. We may not agree with your point of view, but lots of other people here are smart and well-educated as well. So what’s your goal of being so active on this blog? I am here because I find other’s viewpoints interesting and thought-provoking, everyone’s but yours. Clearly you are not here to learn anything, since the only thing you manage to do to anyone who has a different point of view is to bash them with your words. I wish I understood why you do that. C



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          LRA

          posted March 20, 2011 at 6:14 pm


          Cindy-

          How is it mean and/or pompous to call people on their BS? I speak bluntly. I don’t have a problem with that. Nobody else should either. This is the internet, not an ice cream social.

          I happen to disagree that people are “entitled” to spreading misinformation. People get their feelings hurt when someone says, “That is wrong.” What never ceases to amaze me is just *how* wrong people can be. People think some really, really dumb things. If they just spent a little time thinking them through, they might realize how dumb those things are. Yet, they don’t want to do that. They want to dig their heels in and play the victim when they get called on their BS. It’s sad really.

          Being an adult means being able to recognize that you have limits. Some people on this very thread refuse to recognize that they have limits in the area of science, and worse, they feel that their misinformed, demonstrably wrong “opinion” is equal to the expertise of people like me who have done the years and years of hard work to obtain the education I have. This kind of refusal to acknowledge limits is the actual pomposity and arrogance displayed in this thread. My calling BS on it is merely the proper corrective. Disagree if you like, but that is how I see it.



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          Kelly

          posted March 17, 2011 at 10:29 pm


          Amen Nathan. You could be saving so many and helping so many right now. no one knows this but you.



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          LRA

          posted March 18, 2011 at 8:00 am


          “You could be saving so many and helping so many right now.”

          What? What does that even mean?

          Saving people from what? Helping people with what?



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          Elemenope

          posted March 18, 2011 at 8:39 am


          I think she’s going for the idea that if Nathan is indeed a saver of lives and doer of good deeds, for him to say so is boastful and so by *not* saying so, she is free to assume that he is not only a doer of such good deeds but also appropriately humble in demeanor.



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          LRA

          posted March 18, 2011 at 9:49 am


          Convoluted wonders never cease!

          LOL! Thanks for the translation.
          :D



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        Dianna

        posted March 17, 2011 at 6:50 pm


        Nathan, should have responded to this earlier: Do you think this comment you made (and the subsequent ones in this discussion) could possibly come across as “arrogant” and “pompous”?

        Because they kind of do to me.



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      Elemenope

      posted March 17, 2011 at 4:54 pm


      I think Kelly was going for: “Funny how in other countries it is not embryonic [stem cells] that [are] used most often when healing people with [stem cells]!”, i.e, Stem cells extracted from adult or umbilical tissues.



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        Dianna

        posted March 17, 2011 at 5:04 pm


        Ah, that’s what I thought, but it certainly wasn’t clear.

        But, funnily enough, LRA’s already explained that embryonic stem cells are just thrown away if they’re not used. Hm.

        Funny how Evangelical America tends to emphasize potential life at the cost of actual, already existing life, all the time. Urgh.



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          LRA

          posted March 17, 2011 at 5:15 pm


          That’s exactly my beef with them.



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          Sean R Reid

          posted March 18, 2011 at 4:06 am


          It’s a red herring at best. Not to go off on *too* much of a political tirade but take a look at the record of supporting war efforts from leading evangelical pastors (well, “leading” insofar as “in/on the news a lot.” You can’t be pro-life and pro-war. It just doesn’t work.

          Note: for this comment I’m speaking mostly of the “just war” theory and NOT national defense.



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          Dianna

          posted March 18, 2011 at 9:46 am


          I’m of the opinion that no war is just – I have a lot of trouble watching war movies because I keep empathizing with the enemy – I go “But they’re humans too who are just doing the jobs they were told to!”

          So, yeah, I have a lot of problems with the way our current budget is set up, especially by those who proclaim a “pro-life” political stance.



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          Sean R Reid

          posted March 18, 2011 at 9:53 am


          Same here, but I’m one of those wacky small-government libertarian types. So I *really* have problems with our current budget (or lack thereof).

          Needless to say, it’s hardly pro-life in any way shape or form. It’s pro-what-will-get-me-elected. Which is NOT a place for religion to get involved. Render unto Caesar and all that…unfortunately, the Moral Majority seems to have had more of an impact than Christ in such matters.



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    Noelle

    posted March 17, 2011 at 9:31 pm


    I can’t find the plain and simple of a God denying the science of evolution. Many people who do believe a supernatuaral being had a hand in making all you know and see around you do not believe it happened literally the way you read it in Genesis. Many devout religious types will tell you that the various creation stories from different religions tell us more about early man and his construct of the world around him, than actual events. This isn’t a new idea. I suppose it still warrants fresh argument for those new to it. So, surprise, you got your argument.

    You wonder why the backlash for something you thought you could always throw out rote. Why is it thrown back at you now like a tired cliche? One reason is that the glib and haughty “plain and simple”, if I believe it, then so does God, doesn’t stand up to critical thinking. It doesn’t hold with others’ conceptions of God. And it ignores real evidence to the contrary.

    You get strep and your doc hands you a prescription for penicillin, do you refuse it because your Bible doesn’t mention what day bacteria were created, so they must not exist? Of course not. The authors of the Bible didn’t have microscopes and petri dishes. They wrote what they saw. But you don’t discount it because it’s new information. Why so different when new information shows us how evolution works?



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Jace

posted March 17, 2011 at 6:19 pm


wow. people can be so mean on this board. they will know we are Christians by our love, not our science.



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Iain

posted March 17, 2011 at 7:26 pm


Ken Ham. I laughed out loud when they said that.

Yet another way for devotees to stay on script rather than actually thinking for themselves. “Uhh, difficult question! Let me look up the answer for you. It says here…”



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Annie

posted March 17, 2011 at 8:23 pm


@mpt looks like someone else needs a chill pill tonight. Are you going to administer one?



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Craig

posted March 17, 2011 at 8:47 pm


As much as i disagree with Ray, Ken and Kirk’s theology, I don’t want to pile on. 1)it’s way too easy. 2)I don’t want to be like them. They have made a name for themselves by persistently and shamelessly slandering anyone that disagrees with them, so how are we any better by returning evil with evil?



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    Elemenope

    posted March 17, 2011 at 8:52 pm


    Slander implies deception and/or misrepresentation. I personally can’t think of a better repayment for a liar than being buried by the truth.



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Jordan

posted March 17, 2011 at 8:49 pm


I’ve watched the video a few times and I’m not sure exactly what the evidence they’re talking about is, and what exactly it does to help in defense/apologies/evangelizing. Or how that defends one’s faith. It seems to only build up a crooked wall, getting it more ready to fall. At least, should the person begin to read elsewhere.

I did see “archaeology and history attest to the reliability of the Bible”…One wonders in what sense they mean that. Archaeology points to the walls of Jericho having been destroyed in the past, but not to it happening as is recounted in the Bible, likely not by the Hebrews, and then, the dimensions were very different. That is to say, any “evidence” thrown into a small blurb in this version, is going to be heavily biased and not accurately reflect the questions of the historicity of those accounts. Not if you have to be giving those firm answers, defences, etc. to ultimately lead people to eternal salvation. Building your case on these things, as well as (pseudo)science, is to build your case on shaky ground. One might even say on the sand. Its to choose the misshapen stone and reject the good one. Then, when you build from it, everything is crooked. It collapses on itself. And will, too, of course, if it encounters a wind. But its possible as well to not realize when its fallen over.

That is to say, somewhere it was said that this may help build faith. No, it destroys it.



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Maniac Mike

posted March 17, 2011 at 9:01 pm


I have the original version of this Bible- the cover was different and the translation is “an updated King James Version.” Neat to see it updated and officially in the NKJV.
This Bible is like other study Bibles- it’s not exhaustive. Like the concordance in the back of your Bible- it doesn’t have every word, not enough room. So don’t criticize this Bible because it doesn’t have all the answers. This has notes to help be a witness. If we have a problem with a Bible that helps us share our faith and give a reason to the hope that lies in us, it probably means we aren’t interested in using that kind of Bible, EVER. Maybe the issue is NOT that they put out this Bible. Maybe the actual issue is our hearts?



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The Armadillo

posted March 17, 2011 at 11:07 pm


I told myself I wasn’t going to chime in on this conversation, but I feel like not all viewpoints have been fairly represented.
It is possible to believe both in science and in the Bible, fully and literally. It does not have to be one or the other.

These types of arguments frustrate me, because it becomes such a defensive, reactionary kind of argument. Both sides have been wrong in the past and both will continue to make mistakes. Anyone who has seen Ben Stein’s documentary knows that scientists are often persecuted and excommunicated for even hinting that a higher being might exist. And I’ve had plenty of my own experiences dealing with Christians who for some reason feel like evolution is the single greatest threat to their faith. Both mentalities are unreasonable and intellectually dishonest.

Science can go too far (the Nazi’s experiments for example), as can religion (the Crusades or the Inquisition, anyone?). For me the frustration lies in the seeming inability of anyone to have an open and honest discussion about this topic without resorting to personal attacks and/or passive-aggressiveness. It’s silly. Can’t we all just get along?



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    Elemenope

    posted March 17, 2011 at 11:48 pm


    It is possible to believe both in science and in the Bible, fully and literally. It does not have to be one or the other.

    How? They directly and blatantly contradict each other at several points. I can understand squaring modern scientific knowledge with a highly metaphorical (not to mention highly selective) rendering of Biblical contents, but not a literal one by a long shot.

    I understand and sympathize with the impulse to try to square this circle. The fruits of modern science (and it’s step-brother, medicine) are numerous and basically impossible to ignore. Why, the very machine that allows this conversation to take place relies on many scientific and engineering principles that wouldn’t and couldn’t have entered our favorite biblical figures’ wildest dreams, simply because of a lack of knowledge (and, it shouldn’t be minimized, being possessed of a whole host of *actually incorrect* assumptions and beliefs about how the natural world works). On the other hand, the aesthetic and occasional ethic triumphs of the edifice of religion, even leaving aside the supernatural claims, at the very least indicate value that shouldn’t be lightly dismissed either.

    But, alas, one reads through the Bible and finds basic, flagrant misunderstandings of what has become to us basic knowledge. How different diseases spread and operate in the body, how genetic determines physical traits, the nature of astronomical bodies, and that of matter and energy itself. How life changes over long periods of time and over large populations, as well as how individual life processes work, like sex, pregnancy, aging, and basic psychological phenomena. Dinosaurs, for heaven’s sake! Dinosaurs!

    There is an irreducible, irreconcilable tension between the understandings that drove the world-view of those who lived in the times in which the Bible was recorded, and the one we are privy to today due to careful, repetitive, and painstakingly quantified observations and experiments. Something has to give somewhere; the only way to hold both simultaneously as literal truth is to either misunderstand one, the other, or both, or be in denial of the fundamental conflicts that inevitably arise.



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      Sean R Reid

      posted March 18, 2011 at 4:21 am


      I think it’s possible to reconcile both, so long as you recognize the role for each. As noted above by Dianne, science and Scripture occupy two distinct and separate areas. It’s when you attempt to shoe-horn one into the other that problems arise. Genesis is NOT a scientific text. Big Bang cosmology is NOT a philosophical proposition.

      So I would argue that you can find literal “truth” in both. However, it’s making sure not to confuse “truth” with “facts.” You’re not necessarily going to find scientific or historical facts, particularly not the kind that we would recognize as such, in the Bible. It’s not how ANE (ancient near eastern) writing/literature worked. They weren’t CNN and they weren’t reporting up-to-the-minute news/information. They were constructing a narrative. The truth can be found in that narrative. The facts are, essentially -although, I hesitate to say completely, perhaps flexible is a better word- irrelevant from a timeline or scientific standpoint.

      So long as you keep each discipline in it’s appropriate area then there’s very little conflict. Otherwise, it’s like asking a surgeon to fix your car’s transmission. The two disciplines don’t function in the other’s realm.

      It’s my belief that faith in Christ and a relationship with him is found at the core of exploring the Biblical narrative. You have to find your place in the story. It has little, or nothing, to do with evolution, creation or if the walls of Jericho fell by trumpet blasts. Honestly, what we need is less of the “evidence” type Bible and more of the Literary Study Bible. I think many of these arguments would disappear if people just learned how to read again. The only thing worse than science education in the US is our understanding of literature and language.



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        Elemenope

        posted March 18, 2011 at 7:23 am


        I think that’s sustainable, perhaps, but that wasn’t what Mr. Armadillo was going for: “It is possible to believe both in science and in the Bible, fully and literally.” That is a flatly unsustainable notion. As you say, religious truth (ethical, aesthetic, supernatural) as such is different in nature than scientific (empirical or historical) truth. But even to *Recognize* this division means to discard the literality of large swaths of the Bible as metaphor, inaccurate report, and highly limited by the capacities of its audience. It means, essentially, discarding the descriptions of physical processes in the Bible almost entirely and salvaging only those who can present a coherent allegorical meaning.

        In my experience, people who protest that the Bible presents a literal truth are unwilling to do these things, because of the obvious conflict they present with the notion of literal truth. If the Bible and Science are to occupy these separate magisteria, then the overlap into science’s domain presented in the Bible does not and cannot survive.



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          Sean R Reid

          posted March 18, 2011 at 8:46 am


          I agree. I guess I was separating a literal truth from a literal reading. One need not spawn from the other. Which is, as I said, a failure on the part of the reader and not the text. So, I was hoping to give Armadillo the benefit of the doubt but I recognize that he might have been using different definitions than I did.

          The notion of epics, myth and the work of Joseph Campbell would go a long way in building Christian faith and legitimacy of the Biblical text. However, it would require that people NOT read with the Bible with the same expectations they have for the NY Times or Wall Street Journal.



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      Sean R Reid

      posted March 18, 2011 at 4:25 am


      BTW, I would be remiss if I didn’t plug BioLogos here. I can’t recommend the work they’re doing enough to increase science education while continuing to have a strong Christian faith.

      http://www.biologos.org

      BTW, I know for a fact that Ham and Mohler do NOT like BioLogos, I’m guessing Cameron and Comfort feel the same. That alone was enough of an endorsement for me to check them out.



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        Elemenope

        posted March 18, 2011 at 7:56 am


        Yes, they do interesting work in attempting to reconcile science with a Biblically-based faith. Certainly their notions are preferable to Comfort’s and Mohler’s.

        One thing that has always bothered me, though, about efforts to reconcile through allegorization and metaphor is that it departs markedly from what we can gather were the interpretations of those closest to the time in which they were written. There is every indication that ancient authorities took the text as literally true (with the occasional heretical sect looking for encoded messages and secret meanings in the text). It’s not until the 12th century that we start seeing rabbis dissenting seriously from this mode (with Maimonides), and not really until the 13th century that Christian support for the notion started to gain currency.

        It seems to me somewhat problematic to discard the interpretation of those closest to the genesis of the text that had stood one way or another for seventeen-odd centuries, and present a metaphorical interpretation (a relatively modern invention) as the correct way to understand the *intent* of the text. I think it rather important to highlight that it is a marked deviation from how the text has been understood for most of its lifetime, and this presents a rather daunting barrier to anyone who seeks to reconcile Biblical text and science and still claim that the resulting admixture is properly within a scriptural understanding.



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          Sean R Reid

          posted March 18, 2011 at 8:54 am


          As noted above, in these areas I defer to a lot of the work of Joseph Campbell. It’s completely logical that readers of ANE literature would place different expectations on the text than a modern audience. However, the narrative, or, if you will, “truth,” seems to remain even after 2000 years. It’s one of the most amazing things about the Scriptures both from a literary and Christian standpoint.

          There is a lot of history within myth and our modern understandings don’t necessarily invalidate either the “truth” or the facts of the history. It’s just a matter of seeing where the fact are accurate and finding the truth in the narrative.

          Much to Mohler’s chagrin, the Bible is a story and, I think, the story is the most important part. Relationship and experience are found inside of a narrative NOT in a collection of rules/laws. At the end of the day, I believe God wants relationship and Christianity is experiential, not logical (which is not to say “illogical”).



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          Elemenope

          posted March 18, 2011 at 9:14 am


          I do think that going the Mircea Eliade/Joseph Campbell/Paul Tillich route can help to recapture personal meaning from a literally problematic text. I just have a problem with the notion that this approach has any claim to continuity with the traditions that arose directly from the literal text. To wit, the Christianity that results is not a Christianity that bears much resemblance to that you might find in the late 1st or early 2nd century. Participating in a story as a mythic hierophany is quite a bit different from holding the story as historical truth.

          There is a lot of history within myth and our modern understandings don’t necessarily invalidate either the “truth” or the facts of the history. It’s just a matter of seeing where the fact are accurate and finding the truth in the narrative.

          This is a fair point. However, even there there are points beyond which the story loses its moorings with reality. I think in order to be meaningful as a story with human import, there must be at least a tenuous connection to the historical real. We can say that we participate, in a sense, in the birth of Jesus every time we celebrate Christmas, but we know from historical, cultural, and lexographic studies that *most likely*, if there was an historical Jesus, he probably wasn’t born in the winter, probably wasn’t born in a manger, probably wasn’t born under threat of an imperial census, etc. ad nauseam…what do we do when the facts erode every detail of the tale? In what are we participating except a fictional story, at that point?



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          Sean R Reid

          posted March 18, 2011 at 9:24 am


          Unfortunately, this is where my ability to offer any answers/suggestions stops. It’s an area I’m still learning about myself. I’m very interested in how the first Christians practiced Christianity and I’ve recently been introduced a lot of Eastern Orthodox study.

          Suffice to say, I’m enjoying the journey into the narrative, history and the places where they do/don’t overlap. I should note that my faith doesn’t really get shaken one way or another. I’m trying to focus on my experience and place in the story and not build my faith on a house of cards.



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          Elemenope

          posted March 18, 2011 at 9:31 am


          Always a good approach. I’ve never understood how pursuing facts-of-the-matter could be threatening to a personal experience of faith, and to my mind it is always better to search and to know than to assume.



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          Sean R Reid

          posted March 18, 2011 at 9:40 am


          Well, I’m a bit of a natural skeptic, a former agnostic and my degree is in English. So, it makes for a natural fit to ask lots of questions and examine experience.

          Sadly, this makes me a “bad” Christian in some folk’s minds (hence my URL). Although based on recent discussions I think that would put me in good company. =)



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    The Armadillo

    posted March 19, 2011 at 8:25 am


    I was referring to actually taking both literally. I am not a scientist, but I am a logical thinker as well as a Christian, and the pseudo-science known as “creation science” never made sense to me. There is not room here to actually defend my viewpoint, but if anyone is curious, I encourage you to check out the work of Dr. Hugh Ross and his Reasons to Believe organization. I’d be interested to hear feedback from others who have studied this topic.



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Rocco Capra

posted March 18, 2011 at 4:54 am


Gee. That makes me want to read the bible even less.



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Noelle

posted March 18, 2011 at 5:53 pm


The thing is, I wouldn’t mind a Bible with some real evidence and historical commentary in the margins, boxes, and footnotes. Reminders on which verses were used to justify the torture and murder thousands of people in the name of witchcraft, or the ones used to justify slavery, or any numbers of evils. During the Egypt part, how about any archeologic evidence that the mentioned pharaohs actually existed or if the Hebrews were ever their slaves or if there’s any mention outside the bible of Joseph and famine. Medical evidence that women on their menstrual cycles aren’t as clean as other gals? (or a history on how guys have found that whole bloody business icky from the beginning of time) Stuff like that would count as an evidence bible.



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    Silica

    posted March 18, 2011 at 8:51 pm


    I would love something like that. Like The History Channel, but with more information and less melodrama (and, of course, no commercials).

    My college had some great classes on the Bible but they never seemed to fit into my schedule – a book like this would be a good substitute (I like my church and the people who go there…but there’s something very different about studying the Bible from that angle. I am definitely a fan of a more academic approach.) If I realized then how much I would be interested in this kind of thing, I would have just sucked it up and added a Religious Studies minor…oh well. :)



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      Noelle

      posted March 19, 2011 at 7:15 am


      And like the History channel, you’d have to fit Hitler in there somewhere, because everyone Ioves to hate Nazis.

      I went to a Xian liberal arts college and only took 2 religion courses, as were required for graduation. We had good selection though. I went with Christian origins (history of the very early church), and Conceptions of God (an excellent class with a favorite professor that covered multiple philosophies through time, not just Xian). I’m a nerd and would’ve loved to keep taking those sorts of classes for fun. Alas, already had 2 majors and a desire to graduate in 4 yrs.



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Drew Murray

posted March 22, 2011 at 10:10 pm


First of all I have to say the following: “lol”.

Secondly, I love the dramatic sounding music in the background. ha.



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    Drew Murray

    posted March 22, 2011 at 10:15 pm


    Then again, Im remembering that likely most of the “evidence” is probably quote from other verses in the Bible. I love how Christians think that its persuasive to say something is true because the same thing appeared elsewhere in the Bible. Its proof because it was written in two places!! not just one!!



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Luke Smith

posted March 24, 2011 at 6:48 pm


It’s Rubbish. I own one (I had two actually). Every bit of Christian commentary is “are you sure you are really saved”. Exactly what I need to read when I am trying to learn from God… I need to be constantly doubting His salvation and examining myself…. it’s a waste of time.

Not to mention giant portraits of Hitler in my Bible with quotes under it portraying him in a positive light with no context. And I think Stalin and Marx made an appearance to. The point was that they had said something about God and that it proved even the worst of mankind still believed in God or something because of conscious. I don’t remember. I just remember thinking “What if someone sees that I have a picture of Hitler in my Bible?” (Yes, it really is in it. I gave it away years ago so I can’t scan it, but Hitler is nicely framed and has a lovely quote under it about being good Christian soldiers).



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